V8-powered Vauxhall VXR8 wins the Fleet World MPG Marathon

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 8, 2011

It came as a surprise that the Vauxhall's VXR8 super-saloon won the Fleet World MPG Marathon, improved by 53% on the combined figure. The Fleet World MPG Marathon is the longest-running economy driving event in the UK. Behind the wheel of the V8-powered VXR8 was Top Gear Online editor Chris Mooney with navigator, Andrew Duerden, Vauxhall’s archivist and resident eco-driving expert.

It was able to achieve 32.14mpg against a combined figure of 21mpg. The venue of this event, which took two days, is in the Cotswolds this year with different routes that span 350 miles of countryside, boasting a combination of A and B roads and motorway driving.

Mooney said that he and Duerden are “over the moon” for winning the overall best percentage improvement in the VXR8. He said that it proves that the driver could make a huge difference to fuel costs and carbon emissions. He added that the 6.2 litre V8 could be considered a reasonable choice when used correctly. A presentation is scheduled on Wednesday at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall, London, for the awarding.

Vauxhall made sure that the VXR8’s comeback won’t go unnoticed. Its front- and rear-end styling had dramatic revisions. It also had a new cabin and a series of new technology elements that heighten its appeal to enthusiasts who are looking for one of the last, great rear-drive V8 super-saloons.

The wait is over for the new Vauxhall VXR8. For this year, this rear-drive V8 super-saloon features a revised front and rear end as well as a new interior. In addition, the new Vauxhall VXR8 is laden with new technologies. Its top-spec version is based on the HSV E3 GTS model recently launched in Australia The new Vauxhall VXR8i is powered by a fourth generation 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine that provides up to 431 PS of output and up to 550Nm of torque, with power sent to the rear axle through a new MM10 six-speed manual transmission with uprated LS7 clutch.

A six-speed automatic transmission is also available. Both gearboxes feature mechanical limited slip differential. This powertrain allows the new Vauxhall VXR8 to sprint from nil to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and reach a limited top speed of 155mph. Its front end is now distinguished by a new 'Shockwave' grille as flanked by LED daytime running lights and new wing vents. Its rear end, meanwhile, is marked by a new 'Superflow' rear spoiler, twin exhaust tips similar to the shape of the front grille, and LED tail lamps.

Complementing the road power of the new VXR8 are its race-bred chassis that employs MacPherson struts/progressive rate coil springs on the front and a multi-link independent set-up at the rear. The GTS version of the new Vauxhall VXR8 features as standard Magnetic Ride Control, which allows for better car dynamics. The new Vauxhall VXR8 now comes with Launch Control, which optimizes the V8 engine’s torque during brisk acceleration sans unnecessary wheel spin.

The entry-level Vauxhall VXR8 Clubsport is priced at £45,000 while its top-spec version comes with a price tag of £49,500. At this price, the top-level Vauxhall VXR8 is less expensive than full-size super saloons like the Audi RS6, Jaguar XFR and Mercedes E63 AMG by between £13,000 and £29,000. It even undercuts performance saloons like the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG.

Topics: vauxhall, sports car

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